Chaplain's Chat - Term 1 Week 6

Thursday, 03 Mar 2022

We have gathered this week for our whole school Ash Wednesday Service. Congratulations to Rev Nic for her commissioning at this gathering. While it has been over 2 years since bushfires surrounded our regions with ash, we remember the time when smoke covered our land and when flames moved close to our homes. And now our region has been covered with flood water and our world threatened by war. In the midst of that, the breath and the spirit of God begins to move and new life begins to grow. Strength is found. God breathes something of God’s own self into the chaos.

The ash from burnt palm leaves was used to form a cross that students were able to choose to take upon their hand or forehead. In doing so, we remembered the suffering in the world, and in our own lives. We remembered our despair over sad things that humans do to one another and that we are also humans who can be unkind.

We remembered that God was born as a little child into a world of suffering and we see in the Easter Story God’s radical solidarity with those who suffer. Taking the cross on ourselves is a mark of solidarity – we stand with those who suffer, we carry our own role and responsibility in impacting the environment and humans around us. Ash Wednesday is also a new start, crossing the threshold into Lent, a time to contemplate how we can change ourselves and our world.

Our prayers are with all those impacted by the devastating floods, including the communities of our diocesan schools Emmanuel Anglican College in Ballina and Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School in Tweed Heads.

Rev Naomi Cooke

Baptism and Confirmation Invitation Please make contact with the Chaplains if you would like to find out more about confirmation or baptism for your child.

Primary Chapel services take place fortnightly in the last period on Thursdays (Day 9 in the timetable) in the Branson Centre. This alternates with Primary Assembly. Parents are very welcome to join our Chapel.

Special Dates this term:

Last day of Term 1: Easter Service

Chaplaincy Team:

Rev Naomi Cooke

Rev Nic Hagon

SPECIAL REPORT: Managing Overwhelm

Due to the pandemic, recent world events in the Ukraine and impacts of the floods in Queensland and NSW, the world we now live in is a very different place. The hyperconnected nature of our current environment means that we are constantly being reminded of the challenges we face via numerous media and social media channels. Our connectivity to the digital world exposes us to a barrage of messages that can leave us feeling overwhelmed. As a result, many children and their parents are reporting higher levels of stress and anxiety.

Unfortunately, our brains have not evolved fast enough to adapt to this digital landscape. The combination of constant access to information and having little control over the situations presented, can be stressful and overwhelming. It is therefore important for adult carers to check in with their children and be aware of what information they may have been exposed to. It may not necessarily be the information itself that is harmful, but more their inability to process and make sense of it. Providing children with the skills and strategies to cope will enable them to flourish and thrive, socially, emotionally and academically.

The blueprint for parenting, based on our own experiences, is no longer fit for purpose in raising kids as citizens of tomorrow. This can be inherently stressful and overwhelming, not only for parents and carers, but children alike. If left untreated or unmanaged, constant stress and anxiety can lead to a number of behavioural issues or health consequences.

This Special Report suggests a number of strategies to help manage any feelings of overwhelm that you or your child may be experiencing. We hope you take a moment to reflect on the information offered, and as always, we welcome your feedback. If this raises any concerns for you, a loved one or the wellbeing of your child, please seek medical or professional help.

Here is the link to your special report